A team known for sausage races more than pennant races made quite an All-Star splash.
The Milwaukee trio of Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks won fan elections to start in the National League lineup, sending a mini-Brew Crew to join the usual slew of Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies at baseball’s glitter-fest.
“It means the Milwaukee Brewers have arrived on the national scene,” said Braun, the top NL vote-getter.
Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez are among six Yankees on the AL roster for the All-Star Game in Phoenix on July 12. Once again, the Yankees had the most players picked.
Philadelphia, having built the best record in the majors on pitching, provided aces Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz led a Boston quartet. The World Series champion San Francisco Giants added four arms.
The small-market Brewers celebrated their largest haul of All-Star starters. Milwaukee often draws a lot of attention for its in-game dash of meat mascots — the team, however, has made the playoffs just once since 1982.
The AL starting lineup: Gonzalez at first base, New York’s Robinson Cano at second, Jeter at shortstop, Rodriguez at third base, with Toronto’s Jose Bautista, Texas’ Josh Hamilton and the Yankees’ Curtis Granderson in the outfield, Detroit’s Alex Avila behind the plate and Ortiz at designated hitter.
The NL starters: Fielder at first, Weeks at second, Jose Reyes of the Mets at short, Philadelphia’s Placido Polanco at third, with Braun, Los Angeles’ Matt Kemp and Houston’s Lance Berkman in the outfield and Brian McCann of Atlanta catching. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy will choose the DH.
Bautista, the reigning home run champion, received the most votes – a record 7.4 million.
The Detroit Tigers fired pitching coach Rick Knapp and replaced him with bullpen coach Jeff Jones. ... Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez left the game against Kansas City after running into the center-field wall making a catch. ... Yankees pitcher Ivan Nova was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to open a spot for Phil Hughes, who is just about ready to come off the disabled list after being sidelined since April 15 with right shoulder inflammation. ... Indians starter Fausto Carmona has gone on the 15-day DL after he strained his right thigh in a mishap while running the bases ... Reyes is out of the New York Mets’ lineup while the team waits for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) results on his injured hamstring. ... Royals outfielder Alex Gordon left the game against Colorado after getting hit by a pitch on the left knee. ... Padres second baseman Orlando Hudson was kept out of the lineup again after fouling a pitch off his knee Friday in Seattle. ... The Pirates sent right-handed pitcher Brad Lincoln to Triple-A Indianapolis. ... The Rockies purchased the contract of left-handed pitcher Eric Stults from Triple-A and optioned righty Greg Reynolds to the team’s top farm club.